You either love pigeons or you hate them, there is no in-between state of impassivity.
But, personal feelings about pigeons aside, if you ever come across an injured pigeon in need of help, you’re probably going to feel the urge to help the bird.
But first, pause, and think if the pigeon really does need help and that you wading in to help it does not make the situation worse.
Once you’ve gauged the situation and decided that the pigeon in question needs your help, then here’s what you can initially do:
- Carefully pick up the pigeon and place it in a box. Then place the cage in a warm, dimly lit area to ‘calm’ the bird down while you assess its injuries. The pigeon is possibly scared and in a lot of pain. So unless immediate first aid is required, allow it to settle down.
- While you wait, prepare a cup of warm water with some electrolyte and a pinch of salt and offer it to the bird. Refrain from feeding the bird at this point.
- Now, continue with your assessment of its condition to find out what injury the pigeon has sustained and how you can help it.
How To Know If A Pigeon Needs Help?
Many times, you see a fluffed pigeon and think it is not well. But when you approach it, it flies away and you feel bad to disturb it. So, how to know f a pigeon is injured or needs help?
Here are some signs-
See, if a bird is not seated properly and seems to be shifting awkwardly in its place. T may have a broken wing causing such discomfort.
It is a common sight to see pigeons roaming the ground and picking grains. But pigeons don’t stay there long. So, if you see a pigeon not flying for a long time, there may be a problem. It may have a broken wing or limb.
Related Read: Do pigeons fly at night?
It Is Banded
Many domestic birds are banded and if they get away from home and lose their way, they might need help. Domesticated birds find it hard to find food or sleep in the wild.
If It Is Limping
Sometimes, cats or dogs might wound a pigeon badly and break its limb or wing. You can see a pigeon limping and can help it.
Its Feathers Look Ruffled
Feathers tell the story of a pigeon’s health. A healthy pigeon looks different while a sick or injured pigeon’s feathers look ruffled.
If the pigeon can’t open its eyes properly and is sitting in the same place for hours, it is in need of help.
A stunned pigeon lies upside down on the floor. They might not see windows or glasses and get stunned. Normally, they fly away after a while, but if it is serious, they need help, as they might have suffered a concussion.
Common pigeon injuries and how to treat injured pigeon
1. Broken limb
A pretty accurate indication that the pigeon has injured or broken its wing or its leg is to see if it is held at an awkward angle or appears to be bent or mangled, with ruffled feathers. The pigeon will also be hopping if the leg is fractured.
Ideally, you can take it to the vet to get an x-ray and then subsequently set it if it shows up as a fracture. But, if that is not possible then you can follow these steps to treat it:
Gently extend the leg or limb that has been injured. Wrap it in wadded to protect the skin from pressure.
Cut a straw—the drinking kind—to a length that is shorter than the wadding. This is to prevent the sharp ends from cutting into the skin.
Next, slit the straw down its length and carefully fit it over the wadding, before you cover it with an adhesive bandage.
Allow the ‘cast’ to remain in place for 2-3 weeks.
Pigeon bones are rather hollow and very frail, so avoid jostling the bird when you handle it.
2. Cat attack
Cats commonly catch pigeons and that’s the unfortunate truth. If you find a pigeon that has been scratched or mauled by a cat—your cat? — look for scrapes or even holes along with the wings or on the back. There will be a good amount of feathers missing.
Clean any wounds with TCP, saline solution, or antiseptic spray. If the pigeon has been bitten, there is a possibility that it might require a round of antibiotics. Make sure the pigeon is warm and kept in a quiet place because it is probably still pretty scared and in pain.
It would be strongly advised that you take it to a vet to get something for the pain, as well as for antibiotics.
A pigeon might go into shock as a result of its injuries. This means that the blood vessels are inflamed and will be resisting the blood supply to the body, especially its toes, which you will find, will be cold.
Keep the bird warm and comfortable, with a towel-wrapped heating pad nearby for warmth. Keep it hydrated and keep checking in every hour to monitor it. It should usually be back to normal in 3-5 hours.
This treatment can also be applied in the case of a concussion.
4. Cuts And Wounds
The pigeons fly t high speed and sometimes don’t see the dangerous wires or glasses which cause cuts and wounds which need professional attention. But you can also treat them at home. To tend cuts and wounds of the pigeon, follow the below steps-
Find the wound and assess if it is small or severe.
Use Savlon or other solutions to clean the cut. Also, use hydrogen peroxide to stop the infection.
If you see any clots, do not try to remove them. It may start bleeding again, renewing the wound.
If it is a wound by a cat or dog, you may need to take them to a vet or the infection may spread. The pigeon needs antibiotics for such wounds.
Whatever medicines are prescribed by the vet, give them on time to the injured pigeon. Also, be careful while tending to a bird, as it may also infect you.
Watching a bleeding pigeon is not a good sight as they have a small body and bleeding is never clearly visible due to feathers. However, if a bird is bleeding, it may need immediate help. To stop the bleeding, follow the steps below-
Carefully pick the bird and try to stop the bleeding with a cotton swab.
Apply a little pressure to stop the bleeding.
Don’t put pressure on the bird’s breathing pipe, or you may kill it. A bird in [ain can’t breathe properly sometimes. Applying any pressure may kill it. Clean the wound with disinfectant solution and examine the wound.
If you think that the wound is deep, take the bird to the vet immediately.
These are some of the common injuries and their treatments. While treating the pigeon, remember that it needs patience.
It may try to fly away or flutter its wings but you need to handle it with care. When it will be healthy again, you will feel proud of yourself for saving someone’s life